• Keith Shaw

Cure your Email Overreaction

Have you ever wished a problem you needed to solve went away? Recently I was reminded of a concept well described by John Maxwell he calls the “problem promise.” The idea is that problems, approached with the right attitude, are solved and make us better and better. After a career of solving problems, I can attest to that fact.

I have a friend who received an email that was perceived to be critical/rude. She was taken aback, then frustrated and angry for hours that evening. She lost time with family. While physically there, she was mentally still stewing about the note and imagining her response. To her credit, she knew enough to not respond in the moment.

My friend lost valuable time together with her loved ones over an email that, in the end turned out to be a non-event. Tragic! How can I help you avoid the same circumstance in your day to day. Here are three things you can say to yourself/do when faced with problems that you wish would just go away, to enable you to tackle them while keeping them in perspective.

1. “I am a professional that can handle this.” Like an NFL player after a big play, I’ve heard say “All Day Baby”! You are an awesome powerful problem solving machine. Have the confidence to know this is just another day at the office and you’ll get to the bottom of it.

2. Write down 3 things you are grateful for. The fire of the moment can seem big and taking time to slow the roll and remind yourself of the big picture and where this fits in is a powerful way to change mindsets and attack the issue with focus and intent instead of pure reaction.

3. Pick up the phone! Too often I have tried to solve difficult issues or make assessments on my own and did not consider the wealth of colleagues and friends I have to support me. The phone call can also clear up misunderstandings that can and do occur when we overly rely on email. In my career, when things have started to get complicated, bringing in others and clarifying messages has done wonders to turn mountains back into mole hills.

I hope these simple tips can help you next time you find yourself spending too much mind share on an issue. There are so many other ways to re frame, release and set intentions for the segments of your day that I encourage you to learn more by joining my network. See my website and sign up for updates at and add me on Facebook! Have a great day and don’t forget the world needs you at your best.

Maxwell, John C.Developing the Leader Within You 2.0. Nashville TN. Harper Collins Leadership. 2018.

©2018 by Proudly created with